Sifu Henry Poo Yee, founded the Chinese Kung Fu Academy (CKFA) of Southern
Praying Mantis Federation in 1982. Currently, federation members and branch
schools are all over the world.
Grandmaster Yee, is a 3rd generation Chinese-American but was born and
raised in his native land of Kwong Tung province, Toi San, in Southern China
and was educated in both Hong Kong and the United States. He began his Kung
Fu training in 1947 with the southern style of Hung Tau - Choy May (),
Bok Hok (),
and Bok May ()
both in China and Hong Kong.
In 1955, at the age of sixteen, Grandmaster Yee came to America to be
reunited with his family in New York City. There he met his Southern Praying
Mantis Kung Fu teacher, the legend of Jook Lum Gee Tong Long Pai, the Late
Grandmaster Sifu Lam Sang ().
At that time, Great Grandmaster Lam Sang was teaching at the New York
Chinatown "Hap Sang Tong" ().
Hence, Grandmaster Yee's lifelong study and training as a Southern Praying
Mantis Kung Fu practitioner had begun. In the 1960s, while learning and
practicing, Grandmaster Yee had already begun teaching this style of Kung Fu
at some of the New York Chinatown youth athletic clubs.
For the past forty-five years, Grandmaster Yee has devoted most of his time
and energy to the development of sports and Kung Fu in the Chinese
communities of New York and the rest of North America. In 1958, Grandmaster
Yee and a few of his Kung Fu brothers began to recruit a group of Chinese
youth to form the New York Chinatown Viking's Athletic Club ().
Within two years, membership had grown to one hundred. Activities included
Kung Fu, volleyball, basketball, and academics. By the early 1960s, a
majority of the club's members had enrollments in almost every major
university in the eastern part of the United States. The volleyball team
dominated the North American Chinese communities for about ten years from
1959. Volleyball tournaments are now the largest annual sports events in
North America's major Chinatowns. Kung fu activities included the yearly
Chinese New Year lion dancing celebrations and Kung Fu exhibitions in New
In 1966, Great Grandmaster Lam Sang retired from teaching at New York Hap
Sang Tong and moved to Taiwan in 1969. With this, Grandmaster Yee turned to
one of Sifu Lam Sang's mutual Kung Fu brothers, Sifu Chang Peng, for
additional mutual inspiration and knowledge sharing of this style of Kung Fu
- Southern Praying Mantis.
In 1980, Grandmaster Yee was involved in a devastating automobile collision
and sustained massive injuries, including partial paralysis. Seeking help
with Chinese "Dit Da" medicine treatment, Grandmaster Yee was to be reunited
with Great Grandmaster Lam Sang. Through a Jook Lum Gee Tong Long Pai "Ting
Sing Kung" rehabilitation process, Grandmaster Yee was again to retrain this
style of Kung Fu. After Grandmaster Yee regained most of his health, Great
Grandmaster Lam Sang encouraged him to openly teach this style of Kung Fu to
the general public. Hence, the organization known as the Chinese Kung Fu
Academy (CKFA) of Southern Praying Mantis Federation was born.
In 1984, Grandmaster Yee was appointed "Yee-Fong" ()
to the lineage of Jook Lum Gee Tong Long Pai by Great Grandmaster Lam Sang
See and presented him with a shrine (alter) of Jook Lum Gee Tong Long Pai,
and the complete instructions concerning the care of the alter, and two Jook
Lum Gee Tong Long Pai Dit Da treatment and prescriptions.
Since 1981, Grandmaster Yee has devoted all of his time and energy to the
development of Chi Kung, Chinese Dit Da medicine and healing, and promotion
of Southern Praying Mantis Kung Fu and its Federation worldwide. He has
given many exciting demonstrations and exhibitions and has appeared in many
different newspapers, martial arts magazines, and videos throughout the
world. Grandmaster Yee has many appointments and honors such as:
of the East Coast Chan Tai San Lama Pai
* Advisor to the United States Wushu Kung Fu Federation
* Member of the Hong Kong Kowloon Herbalists Medical Assocation
* Honorary Board director of United Kung Fu Federation of North America
* Honorary Advisor of Kwong Tung Taishan, China Wushu Association
* Member of American Traditional Chinese Medical Traumatology Association
* Honorary Chairman of National American Traditional Chinese Martial Arts
* VIP and Judge for many international tournaments and events.